Nov. 12, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- The University of Washington will host the second and third rounds of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament at Key Arena, the NCAA announced on Monday. It will be Seattle's 16th opportunity to host the tournament, but the first since 2004.
"Bringing March Madness back to Seattle has been a priority for the Seattle Sports Commission, so we are absolutely thrilled to host the NCAA Tournament at KeyArena in 2015," said Ralph Morton, Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission "Basketball is a part of our culture in Seattle, from the young kids it inspires to the many area athletes that have played the sport at the college and pro level. This event means so much to basketball fans in the region, as well as the tourism industry that will benefit from thousands of out-of-town visitors and national media exposure."
Besides Seattle, other sites selected to host second and third round games in 2015 are: Jacksonville, Fla. (Veterans Memorial Arena), Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center), Pittsburgh (Consol Energy Center), Portland, Ore. (Rose Garden), Charlotte, N.C. (Time Warner Cable Arena), Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena) and Omaha, Neb. (CeturyLink Center).
Additionally, the NCAA announced the hosts for the 2014 NCAA tournament with Washington State selected to host the second and third rounds at Spokane's Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
"The bid process was as competitive as ever, with 53 cities expressing the desire to be a part of one of the world's premier sporting events," NCAA vice president of men's basketball Dan Gavitt said. "We are thrilled for our hosts for the '14 and '15 tournaments, as they include a mix of cities that have proven over the course of several decades how to stage this great event, as well as cities that have come on to the scene in recent years and have embraced the tournament."
A total of 25 preliminary round sites for the 2014 and 2015 Division I Men's Basketball Championships, as well as the 2014 Division II and Division III Men's Basketball Championships, were announced. The 25 cities hosting portions of the 76th and 77th Division I Men's Basketball Championship have combined to host nearly 1,000 tournament games in the event's history, including Madison Square Garden in New York.
A host to 71 tournament games between 1943 and 1961, Madison Square Garden will be the East Regional site for the 2014 championship, marking the first time the arena will host the event in 53 years.
A number of states had multiple cities chosen to host the first three rounds and regional sites of the championship, with California, New York and Ohio leading the way with each having three cities earn bids.
The tradition of the opening of the tournament at the University of Dayton Arena will continue as the venue again has been chosen to host the First Four in 2014 and '15. The site of the start of the tournament each year since 2001, Dayton will host its record 100th all-time tournament game in March.
In addition, the state of Ohio will also have Columbus and Cleveland hosting games in 2015, with Columbus serving as a second- and third-round site and Cleveland being the host of the Midwest Regional.
California also will play a prominent role in future tournaments with San Diego hosting the championship for a fourth time, as a second- and third-round host in 2014, and Anaheim hosting the West Regional that same year. It will be Anaheim's sixth opportunity to stage the tournament. Los Angeles, which will host the West Regional in 2013, will do the same in 2015.